At what side of the sanctuary should the priest be?

I was wondering whether i should put it in the traditional or the liturgy. in the end i decided to put it here because it seems something traditionalist (referring to the EF of mass) are more rubrical.

So where should the priest be seated. At what side? i have seen both at the (from where the congregation is seated) at the left and on the right. So what is correct… and i know that this probably isn’t in the rubrics but i want yalls opinions and why you believe that thanks!

Epistle side. (when you are facing the sanctuary, it’ll be the right hand side.)

Epistle side at a High Mass or a Missa Cantata. However, at a low Mass he does not sit.

It is in the rubrics (X, n.523 in the 1961/2 missal). The Epistle side is to be reckoned form the figure of the altar crucifix (the figure’s left is the Epistle side)

Thank you everyone… really… but i’m so sorry i worded my question incorrectly… i was referring to the OF of the mass… where should the priest be seated… and sometimes i have seen the priest seated in the back of the sanctuary where the tabernacle should be but that is rare it is either on the left or right…
and i was asking what side is i guess MORE correct… but i guess from your answers it still stands that on the right is the best choice…

When I served the bishop at the Cathedral in Baker, OR, he and his servers sat on the Gospel side.

When the bishop was not in town, the servers used chairs on the Epistle side.

This was in the late 50’s early 60’s so was the EF form.

You’ll often see the chairs behind the altar or on the right side (as viewed from the pews)–depending on the configuration of the church. I have never seen the priest sit on the left (but I haven’t been to every Mass in the world ;))

At my parish, the tabernacle is on the right and the priest and servers sit behind the altar. The church furniture (tabernacle, ambo, altar) is made of heavy marble and built up directly from the marble floor of the sanctuary. I don’t think anything can be moved except the chairs, but there is really nowhere else for them.

All that said, our OF Masses are beautiful and reverant! :crossrc:

In our parish the priest sits on the left, the tabernacle is on the right.

I saw someplace recently that he should not be seated where one might expect the Tabernacle to be nor in another elevated position. That is, it should not be a throne. He should be on a level with the altar, which seems to require that he be on one side or the other in order to be seen. I don’t recall any discussion of which side, though the side opposit the ambo would seem proper for balance.

I don’t remember where I read it. It was a reliable, though not authorative, source as I recall.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit